Australia Busts 2 Men in 'Imminent' Terror Plot

Counterterror raid turns up ISIS flag, weapons, video threat
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 11, 2015 11:12 AM CST
Australia Busts 2 Men in 'Imminent' Terror Plot
In this 2014 file photo, an Islamic State flag.   (AP Photo, File)

Two men were charged today with planning to launch an imminent terrorist attack in Australia, after police seized a homemade ISIS flag, machete, and hunting knife in a counterterror raid. The men, ages 24 and 25, would have carried out the attack yesterday if they hadn't been arrested in the Sydney suburb of Fairfield, a New South Wales police rep said. A video seized during the raid depicted one of the suspects kneeling in front of the ISIS flag with the knife and machete while making a politically motivated statement and threatening to commit "violent acts" with those weapons, said an AG. The men planned to launch their attack in western Sydney, he said. Asked whether they were planning a beheading, the police rep replied, "We don't really know what act they were going to commit."

"Yesterday, our focus was to act on information that we received about something that was imminent," she continued. "We believe that we have stopped that threat from occurring." Omar Al-Kutobi and Mohammad Kiad were charged with undertaking acts in preparation or planning for a terrorist act, which carries a maximum punishment of life in prison. Their lawyer didn't apply for bail and it was formally refused during a brief court hearing today. Neither man appeared in court. "As we have seen again and again in recent times, the death cult is reaching out all around the world, including here in Australia," Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Parliament. The government believes about 90 Australians are fighting alongside ISIS in Syria and Iraq, with another 140 supporting the group from Australia. (More ISIS stories.)

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